How the pilot saved flight vs 04
Thursday 06 November 1997
passengers and 16 crew, Virgin Atlantic flight VS 04, Los Angeles to Heathrow, makes a
normal approach to Heathrow.
Crew report a fault in the left
Flight VS 04 makes a fly-past of Heathrow so that ground staff can make a visual examination. This
confirms that the left
undercarriage is not fully extended.
At 16.19pm, the Virgin Atlantic Airbus 340 touches down on Heathrow's southern runway.
Pilot keeps the plane balanced on its
remaining landing gear for as long as possible before the jet tips over.
Eyewitnesses report seeing sparks as the plane slews down the runway.
Flight VS 04 slides to a halt at the end of the runway.
Emergency vehicles spread a blanket of foam on the runway
All passengers evacuated one minute after plane comes to
a halt. Nine injured were taken to Ashford Hospital.
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